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PZ Myers

PZ Myers (center). The rise of atheism indeed.

Iheu

IHEU's International Humanist Award 2011

Paul Zachary "PZ" Myers (often erroneously spelt Meyers) is a biology professor at University of Minnesota Morris (UMM).

Myers created Pharyngula and is not particularly fond of religion or misogyny. For these crimes, he gets email and idiots throw dirt at him at Twitter. [1] PZ is licensed to carry an atheist cyberpistol.

ScienceEdit

As a scientist Myers has many opinions about Science.

Youthful interestEdit

PZ says:

I grew up poor with no expectation that I’d even be able to go to college; my father had me all lined up for a nice union blue collar job when I lucked into a full scholarship (doing extraordinarily well on those standardized tests paid off). I went to a public school with an, as I now know in hindsight, awful science program (with one or two bright spots, thank you Mr Thompson), and got negligible exposure to science. But I loved the stuff myself; I followed the space program zealously, I dissected road kill, I hiked the woods and hills around my home, and I read like a maniac — I lived in the local library and read Scientific American and Natural History and Smithsonian and National Geographic, and I finished all the science books in the children’s section before I was 11 and pestered the librarians to let me check out adult books. I cared enough about how the world worked to struggle to understand it.

Science journalsEdit

Myers believes the leading science journals pay too much attention to commercial considerations and not enough to the scientific value of what they do or do not publish. Top journals, Nature, Cell and Science are specifically mentioned. Myers cites Nobel Lauriat, Randy Schekman who had more detailed information on this. When deciding what to publish it's claimed leading journals pay too much attention to what will attract readers and not enough to what will benefit humanity. [2][3]

CareerEdit

In 2011, Prof. Myers was elected chair of the biology department at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

ResearchEdit

Prof. Myers' research is in evo-devo, using the zebrafish, Danio rerio, a common aquarium fish. A major part of his research is about the effects of alcohol (CH3CH2OH) on embryonic development. He does this research by giving zebrafish embryos big doses of alcohol and then looking for abnormalities.

OutreachEdit

Prof. Myers main outreach tools are his blog, Pharyngula; his teaching at UMM; and talks at conferences and other events, both within and outside the U.S., as well as interviews with news media. Myers wrote a book with the title, "The Happy Atheist", [4] view an abstract. So Alone,

ConferencesEdit

  • Atheists in Austalia
  • Centre for Inquiry in Canada
  • Atheists in Sweden

Interviews and podcastsEdit

See Point of Inquiry and other websites.

Messageboard moderationEdit

Prof. Myers had been a moderator of the Evolution/Creation forum at the Internet Infidels Discussion Board (IIDB), which is now the Freethought and Rationalism Discussion Board (FRDB). But on May 18, 2004, he stepped down. Two weeks later, IIDB's management announced that it was accepting theist moderators.

BeliefsEdit

Politics and EthicsEdit

More and more, the strongest atheist voices are talking about nonbelief less as an end in itself, but as part of a larger conversation about social justice. It could hardly be any other way: atheism is growing not only in numbers, but in diversity. When Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens were at their most prominent, a frequent (and credible) criticism was that the faces of atheism were all white, male and affluent. To make the same claim now is to deliberately ignore some of the most vital atheist and skeptic voices that have emerged in the last 10 years.

—PZ Myers quoting Chris Hall [5]

Myers is politically liberal but opposes Libertarians.

Myers believes morality should be based on being kind to other human beings and animals, also avoiding harm. [6]

Myers believes Bradley Manning deserves a medal, Dick Cheney and John Yoo and Karl Rove and George W. Bush should go to jail in Manning's place. [7]

The BibleEdit

Myers agrees with Robert G Ingersol that the Bible is an evil book, encouraging slavery, people were imprisoned, tortured and killed families set apart from each other due to the Bible's influence. Credulity was encouraged. [8]

Roman CatholicismEdit

Myers believes the host used in the Eucharist is just a cracker desecrated one when he felt Roman Catholics overreacted to a student who took a wafer out of mass without eating it. See Crackergate for the lurid details!

Myers thinks girls as well as men should go to college. Training the minds of young people is more important than young people marrying early and pushing out babies early despite what some Roman Catholics advocate. [9]

Myers is strongly critical of Totino-Grace Roman Catholic high school because they fired one teacher and forced their president to resign just because both admitted to being in long term gay relationships. [10] Myers also has quite a lot to say about Roman Catholic child abuse.

Myers thinks Pope Francis is overrated. [11][12]

AcademiaEdit

At Yale University a male research student, Polloneal Jymmiel Ocbina allegedly was caught on camera sabotaging the experiments of a woman student, Magdalena Koziol by poisoning her experimental fishes. The alleged perpetrator left but also after this it is alleged her boss, Antonio Giraldez became unsupportive, ensured her time in the laboratories was extremely stressful and threatened to destroy her career if she talked about the incident. PZ believes Ocbina should have faced criminal charges for harming the fish as well. Law suits are in progress and we may find out more if the case comes to court. [13] [14]

FeminismEdit

Myers is strongly critical of misogyny, lack of respect for women and sexual harassment. He published Carrie Poppy who complained about problems she experienced working at the James Randi Educational Foundation, [15] a day later Myers published rape allegations made against Michael Shermer and harassment allegations against Ben Radford. He has also published other complaints women made about misogyny in the atheist movement. He also fears there is denialism over the issue and believes only far reaching change can rescue the movement. [16] Myers linked to many other websites where women complained about harassment in the skeptical movement and feels radical change is needed to preserve the movement. Myers hopes his supporters on Pharyngula will "pick a side" and fight those who harass women. [17]. See Misogyny Wars for more. PZ gets into trouble for all this.

I had Conservapædia raving about how fat I was, whole blogs dedicated to how stupid I was, and of course, frequent accusations of being gay — but once I got associated with feminism, the hatred reached a whole new level of shrieking. I’ve basically been declared an honorary woman by a whole new category of people, online atheists, who turn out to be worse than creationists, Christians, and Muslims. There are even more rants about my appearance, my ‘irrationality’, my sanity, than ever before. And the scary thing is that when I compare what I get to what women activists get, I’m getting off easy.

—PZ Myers [18]

Myers thinks the International Congress of Quantum Chemistry are sexist because they do not have women members or invite women speakers though there are plenty of qualified women quantum chemists. [19]

Myers has written a great deal about the trouble between Ben Radford and Karen Stollznow as have several other Pharyngulites. [20]

Myers is concerned about the deepening rift in the atheist movement and mentions particularly online harassment of Melody Hensley. [21]

Myers believes the preponderance of men in some science fields is culturally based and has evidence to back this up. [22]

IntegrityEdit

Myers would rather miss out on an all expenses paid trip to Europe than help a Faith group make a profit. Thanks PZ. [23]

TriviaEdit

TentaclesEdit

Rumors exist that Myers has tentacles, indeed Myers encourages such rumors with illustrations of himself as a tentacled being. [24]

HypothermiaEdit

Myers reportedly froze to death during the cold Minnesota winter in January 2013. [25] He should have heeded, "Cold weather can be really dangerous. You can die." [26] Still Pharyngula continues after PZ marvelously indeed rose from the dead.

This is meant lightheartedly but neatly illustrates Occam's Razor. Which is more likely?

  1. PZ really died, his Ghost told us about it.
  2. PZ really died, rose from the dead and told us about it.
  3. PZ was joking.

ReferencesEdit

  1. This is our opposition
  2. How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science
  3. A new journal
  4. The Happy Atheist
  5. Good news!
  6. The “objective morality” gotcha
  7. Bradley Manning Not Guilty Of ‘Aiding The Enemy’
  8. Atheists sink to new depths of depravity!
  9. Catholics really do despise women
  10. There are good Catholics. There is no good Catholicism.
  11. I don’t smile back at the smiley pope
  12. Seriously, Time magazine?
  13. The kind of thing that would give me nightmares
  14. Holy shit. This sabotage story is the stuff of research nightmares.
  15. Carrie Poppy tells all
  16. Painfully close to the truth
  17. This is not an update
  18. “It’s about misogyny. It’s about intimidation. It’s about silencing.”
  19. Et tu, Chemistry?
  20. Karen Stollznow PZ Myers Pharyngula
  21. The Deepening Rift
  22. If your only justifications for sexism are stupid, you should maybe stop making them
  23. All these debate invitations, suddenly
  24. The Curse of Morris
  25. Sorry, guys. I stepped outside this morning and froze to death.
  26. My beard isn’t turning gray, that’s just the ice

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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